Coming Soon: Rabbittown Trade Center

tradecenterpostIf you collect, antique or restore, some day in the coming few weeks, you may be walking through these doors.

Rabbittown Antiques and Artisans owners Gail and Gary Miller are breathing life into the old ‘Great Scott’ building located at 36 College Street, Danville, just a block or so from their Rabbittown business.

The new business will be called Rabbittown Trade Center and will begin its life as an auction house.

“Gail and I have been involved in the area antiques and collectibles scene for many years. We’ve been to hundreds of auctions all over Central Illinois and the midwest. We want to build what we believe is the best auction experience for both sellers and buyers,” said Gary Miller.

The Millers are planning to execute well organized and presented auctions, but they are also intrigued by the sense of community at many auctions.

“If you look at this space and how we’re adapting it to auctions, you see that the length of the room allows for a large area to the rear of the action for people to gather and just socialize,” Miller said while giving a tour of the building.

The main auction room will also have a licensed concession stand and kitchen with a window for taking orders and serving. All of the furnishings will be moveable so that the room may also be used for events like receptions, dinners and dances.

The Miller’s rehab of the building doesn’t end with the huge auction room, however. Planned to open later this year or in early 2015 are two additional spaces. The first will be a furniture consignment shop.

“Through the Rabbittown store and our own network, we have access to many great furniture pieces that will benefit from a spacious, attractive showroom dedicated to just furniture,” said Gail Miller.

“We’ll start with many of the items that Gary and I have collected over the years that we haven’t had the room to show at Rabbittown Antiques and Artisans,” she added.

Soon after opening the furniture consignment, the Millers plan to open up the space to other vendors on the consignment model with a twist.

“We want folks to have a reason to stop in occaisionally, so pieces taken under consignment at the Trade Center will drop in price the longer they remain on the floor,” Gail said. “After a set time, the piece will be removed if it hasn’t sold to make room for another.”

The Millers said this arrangement will give buyers the added incentive to come back and check on a potential purchase that they didn’t previously buy to see if the price has come down. By removing items that don’t move, the consignment shop’s inventory will stay fresh.

Finally, the Miller’s love for quality, classic architecture will be realized in phase three of the Trade Center which will be an architectural salvage store. The Millers are preservationists and Gary Miller has had a career in building and construction. He helped manage the historic renovation of the New Holland Apartments as part of the team at Crosspoint Human Services and has done much of the work in restoring the building which currently houses Rabbittown Antiques and Artisans.

“We’re losing classic American craftsmanship every day in places like Danville where there is a lot of old housing stock and early 20th century manufacturing and business properties,” Gary Miller said. “We need a local place to take in the the parts of buildings and houses that can be preserved because there are many people who will reuse things like woodwork, windows and old hardware to either restore their own properties or add a classic touch to new construction.”

The Millers have received the appropriate licenses and permits to operate the auction house. Their hope is to have the final construction done and hold the first auction sometime in October or early November. Stay tuned!